One of the rarer bird species in New Zealand has been frequenting the coastline near the fire station in Plimmerton recently. The Tuturuatu or shore plover number only a few hundred birds in total. DOC released 41 Tuturuatu onto Mana Island back in 2008 and in last year a small flock relocated itself to the mainland. There are now signs on the beach advising people to keep an eye out when walking on the shoreline and in particular to keep control of any dogs they may have with them. Last year a pair even managed to hatch a chick on the mainland, the first such unmanaged hatching in years if not decades.

Naturally I’ve been visiting the birds and taking a few photos.

TuturuatuPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

A young Tuturuatu.

TuturuatuPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

A resting male Tuturuatu.

The birds are very trusting, not a good survival instinct when your overall population is low. Last year DOC eventually caught all the birds and transported them back to Mana Island for their own safety. I’m not sure if they’ll try it again given that the birds have flown back. You can read more about the Tuturuatu here: http://www.birdlife.org/…id=3145

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